1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Graphic presentations have a powerful impact on a viewer’s attitude, and this impact cannot be created by text alone. In a newspaper context, the presence of a photograph will significantly alter the consumer’s attitude toward the framed issue. Graphic presentation is not just doing any drawing you like. There are conventions and various styles and techniques that are used. Graphic presentation as the name suggests is communication using graphic elements. These elements include symbols such as glyphs and icons, images such as drawings and photographs, and can include the passive contributions of substrate, color and surroundings. It is the process of creating, producing, and distributing material incorporating words and images to convey data, concepts, and emotions. The field of graphic presentations encompasses all phases of the graphic communications processes from origination of the idea (design, layout, and typography) through reproduction, finishing and distribution of two- or three-dimensional products or electronic transmissions
Houston, Childers, and Heckler (1987) noted that little research examined the effects of nonverbal message elements on consumer information processing. They also proposed that the nature of pictorial stimuli suggests that pictures can be used effectively to embed expectations within a message or news. If this is true, there are many implications for advertisers and news producers alike. For instance, Singh, Lessig, and Kim (2000) show that advertisers use pictures for several reasons, including getting attention. In newspapers, visuals have proven to be a crucial connection point, and Moses (2002) noted that graphics, photographs, and headlines get far more attention from readers than text does. In a marketing saturated environment, winning the consumer’s attention is half of the battle. Furthermore, the mere association of a product with a positively evaluated stimulus like an attractive picture, regardless of the picture content, may be sufficient to alter attitude toward the product “without any rational belief change preceding the effect” (Harris, 1983).
If it is understood how consumers react to pictures in the marketing context, insight can be gained into how photographs serve to influence news consumers. Advertisement and news practices appear to be predicated on the belief that vivid information is more persuasive than pallid information, with vividness typically viewed as a characteristic of the stimulus; hence; pictures are vivid and verbal statements are pallid (Kisielius & Sternthal, 1984). Persuasion is usually measured by asking subjects to make attitudinal judgments about the message promotion. Within the advertising and news framework, one can study the impact of images in relation to influencing consumer perception and attitude.
The research of graphic presentation in news and advertising has focused on two broad categories: the effects of pictorial messages on memory and the impact of pictures on consumer attitudinal response (Houston et al., 1987). The attitudinal studies are significant because the manner in which graphics influences a consumer’s opinion toward an advertisement or news could realistically explain the way a photograph influences a news consumer’s opinion about an article, or the issue discussed in the article. Petty and Cacioppo (1981) have defined attitude as “a general and enduring positive or negative feeling about some person, object, or issue” (Morris, Woo, Geason, & Kim, 2002). The visual component in advertisements may affect both the formation of product attribute beliefs and attitude toward the advertisement (Mitchell, 2001). If the images in an advertisement or news can directly affect a consumer’s perception and attitude, what is portrayed in those images is crucial.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to Mitchell (2001), the visual elements of news and advertisements may affect perception and attitudes in at least two ways. First, consumers might make presumptions about the news or advert based on the graphic information presented. These presumptions may “result in the formation or change of beliefs about the published information” (Mitchell, 2001, p. 21). Second, if the graphic element is positively or negatively evaluated, it might affect a brand attitude operating through perception toward the news and information. In essence, the valence of a photograph can significantly influence a consumer’s perception toward information. More often, graphics element are constantly used in newspaper production with a view of providing the readers the vivid information. This development has led to provision of accurate and correct information on various sensitive topics. However, the researcher is examining the impact of graphic presentation in newspaper production.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the impact and features of graphics presentation in newspaper production.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work